It is an annual tradition for a sea of red balloons to decorate Darien mailboxes every spring. In the past, these balloons, placed by members of OPUS for Person-to-Person, have signified support of P2P’s campership program, which sends over 400 children from low-income households to summer camp every summer. But this year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything is different.
With continued uncertainty about the duration of the COVID-19 crisis and with social distancing protocols potentially impacting the full operation of summer camp providers, P2P has had to keep their annual campership program on hold until there is more clarity about what the summer will hold. What is certain is that the families of the 400 children who would have been eligible for the program this summer are the most vulnerable in our community and have been the most disproportionately impacted by this crisis. P2P has seen the demand for food assistance increase by over 50% and emergency financial assistance increase by over 70% during the past two months.